UFC's Ortiz ranks trash-talkers

Tito Ortiz. (Judy Eddy/WENN.com

Tito Ortiz. (Judy Eddy/WENN.com

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:28 PM ET

Though Tito Ortiz has no plans of slowing down his fighting career, he’s done trash-talking.

“I gave it up; I will no longer talk trash about anybody else,” Ortiz said in an interview with QMI Agency. “I don’t have to sell pay-per-views on trash talk. I sell it on my name alone. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am.

“When I was talking trash, I was the world champion. I was really able to put this sport on the map. With trash talk, of course I always backed it up when it was fight time. If you’re going to talk trash, you’ve got to back it up.”

You can’t deny Ortiz has a point. Even as he is set to become the first fighter to compete on 25 UFC cards when he faces Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 133 in Philadelphia Saturday, he remains one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts.

Ortiz’s decision to keep his mouth shut is still somewhat surprising considering his rich history of smack-talk and offensive T-shirts directed at his opponents. He was one of the UFC’s first true stars and a lot of that had to do with his polarizing personality. You either tuned in because you loved him, or you wanted to see instant karma bite him in the ass.

But Ortiz admitted that selling a fight wasn’t his only objective. It was also about snagging the mental edge.

“When I talked trash ... it was 80-to-90% getting into the guy’s mind,” Ortiz said. “You look at Muhammad Ali and he would win the fight before the fight even started. It really comes down to getting into an individual’s mind, seeing what his weaknesses are and attacking those weaknesses. And at the same time, saying the truth. The truth really matters; it really gets into guys’ heads.

“I try to manipulate the right things to get in their head right off the bat.”

It goes without saying Ortiz is pretty confident in his fighting abilities to sacrifice cerebral warfare ahead of one of the most important fights of his career. If he upsets Evans, he’s that much closer to a light-heavyweight title shot.

For now, we’ll just have to take him at his word.

Since the Huntington Beach Bad Boy appears to have ditched the ‘Bad’ part of his nickname, he’s the perfect guy to grade some of today’s biggest trash talkers. You can also follow the newly civil Ortiz on Twitter @titoortiz.

CHAEL SONNEN

“Chael’s hands down the best,” Ortiz said.

“If you’re going to talk trash, you’ve got to back it up. And Chael, I felt he backed it up really well against (Anderson) Silva. He made a mistake at the end of the fifth round. He made a mistake and it’s just one of those things. I think he’s still one of the toughest guys at 185 pounds.

“Chael Sonnen is No. 1. I think he’s the best guy.”

MICHAEL BISPING

“Bisping’s good; like I said, all it comes down to is saying the truth,” Ortiz said. “Bisping, he’s going to try and get in a guy’s head. Bisping is a guy who came from season three (of the Ultimate Fighter) with me. I still tell him, ‘Bisping, just say the truth, man. Whatever comes from your heart makes the most sense to people that want to hear it.’ The fighters who are hush-hush about things are forgotten about. It’s kind of bad to say it, but you’ve got to talk trash to be recognized, but just as long as you can back it up.

“Bisping is awesome. A very, very tough fighter who backs his smack-talk up.”

SEAN MCCORKLE

“I’m not meaning to be rude or anything, but I haven’t heard any of his trash talk,” Ortiz said. “I couldn’t give you an answer on that one because I really only pay attention to the guys who are on the top right now. The guys who talk trash (should be) the ones on top and who can back it up.”

DIAZ BROTHERS

“I like the Diaz brothers; I like both of them,” Ortiz said. “Nate is a guy who’s gone very far and is still up-and-coming. I think he can be a champion. He’s still very, very young.

“And his brother (Nick) now being a champion and getting a chance to fight Georges St. Pierre — can he be one of the guys to shut St. Pierre up and become the champion? I like him. Again, a champion who talks trash and backs it up. He speaks from the heart and that’s what it’s really about.”

FRANK MIR

“Frank Mir — he still fights? I didn’t know that,” Ortiz said with a hint of sarcasm. “I don’t know; I don’t pay attention to that guy at all. I didn’t even know he still fights.”


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